The Singapore Grand Prix 2019 is here and with it has started F1’s most glitzy and sparkly carnival. The qualifying is over now and Charles Leclerc took a very surprising pole from Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel. Pole favourite Max Verstappen could only qualify fourth ahead of the other Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas and teammate Alex Albon rounding off the top six.
Renault, coming after a solid 4th and 5th from Monza, were hoping to carry the momentum to this circuit as well. From Monza to Italy, they announced their 2020 driver lineup – Daniel Ricciardo partnering Esteban Ocon, leaving the aging Nico Hulkenberg on the sidelines. The yellow clad cars qualified 8th and 9th for Ricciardo and Hulkenberg respectively. However, it seems that the order is not final as Ricciardo has been summoned by the stewards over excessive MGU-K power. If it turns out to be true, his lap will be excluded from the qualifying.
This is terrible news for Ricciardo and his side of the garage. If found guilty, he will be stripped of his lap from qualifying and will be pushed to the last spot on the grid. Considering the cramped streets of the circuit, the Singapore Grand Prix is no easy place to overtake, some even referring it to Monaco like characteristics. It will be a real tough task for the Australian in his Renault to be able to gain places and will be desperately hoping on a couple of safety cars to shake up the pact.
Meanwhile, the other side of the Renault garage, the one belonging to Nico Hulkenberg will be in no good shape either. Hulkenberg will be trying hard to make an impression to either Alfa Romeo or Williams, the only place with open seats at the moment. Time and age, however, aren’t on his side at the moment.
UPDASTE: As expected, Ricciardo has been excluded from the qualifying and will start from the back of the grid. It will be a very very difficult Sunday for the Australian.